Everything is Cool When You’re a Part of the Team
As the above shows, a time tracker can be a valuable tool a company can use to streamline operations, improve estimates and properly allocate resources. As a result, a company generates more profit, enjoys increased stability, offers better pay and benefits; all without doing so at the expense of the employees.
The key is to recognize a time tracker for what it is: a great tool. Like all great tools, it will either help or hurt people depending on how it’s used and the motivations of the business owners, executives and managers who use it. Being a proponent of time tracking, I have always emphasized the need for management to use time tracking software in a responsible and ethical way.
Projects of Future’s Past
Another important benefit of automatic time tracking is having a clear understanding of the true cost of all of your projects.
According to McKinsey, biggest IT projects run an average of 45% over budget and as much as 7% over time. Even worse, the affected projects deliver only 56% of their projected worth.
This is where proper time tracking can make a great difference. By properly tracking past projects, companies can predict costs of their future projects more accurately. In turn, it helps reduce risks of the company going over budget or losing money.
This is especially true as companies learn to interpret data, recognize trends and act accordingly. If a company specializes in a different kind of project and completes a dozen similar projects in a row, they should be able to use information from those projects to see how the next project is going on. If they are 10% through project but 5% past the budgeting comparing to the previous projects, they can make corrections before it’s too late.
We Can Build It, We Have the Technology
Another big benefit of proper time tracking is better resource management. A company may have a customer that seemingly hogs resources, ties up the best personnel and generally makes a pest of themselves. There may be those in the company who advocate letting go of such a customer in favor of less uncertain ones.
Time tracking, however, may show that while the customer takes up 20% of the company’s resources, it generates 40% of the company revenue. Such cases may help everyone in the office have a newfound appreciation of that customer and may even help alter how the company approaches them. Perhaps, rather than pulling people away from that customer, it would be beneficial to devote even more resources and increase return on investment.
Another aspect of resource allocation is good logistics support. When a company can have accurate data on which customers, projects and offices generate the most revenue, it can help identify where employees and departments are burdened by outdated equipment, procedures, etc.
Not Just Another Assembly Line Automaton
The next significant benefit of automatic time tracking is the time and effort it can save in a company’s payroll and billing. Rather than manually processing timesheets, the right software can automate the process. There can be a big saving as the payroll personnel don’t have to waste working time running down mistakes or reminding employees to send their timesheets.
For an employee, an automatic time tracker could be more than just a source of information of what tasks employees do on computers, during meetings and phone calls, but allow to spend more time actually working rather than dealing with a tedious, frustrating and time-consuming timesheet system just to get paid.